PA6010 - Script - Ideas and Preparation

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What will I learn on this module?

This module will consolidate the scriptwriting skills in theatre and film that you have learned in the previous two years. You will explore ways of developing ideas for different media including introducing the particular demands of writing for Radio and Television. You will experiment in writing for these different media learning about: multi-stranded storytelling, structuring series, working with sound and other particular skills of the broadcast media.

You will explore the different areas of the scriptwriting industry, theatre, film, TV and radio as well as looking at the key roles of people in those industries. You will examine arts organisations, producers and broadcasters’ policies in order to understand the kind of work that is commissioned by each and how that industry sets about choosing scripts. You will learn about different ways of pitching and presenting ideas, both orally and in writing, as well as developing an idea for your own script.

You will look at different kinds of script proposals, treatments, outlines and synopses and will write a proposal for an idea of your own (which will be the script you write in the second semester Portfolio Script module). You will write a rationale for that proposal as well as supporting professional documentation (CV, synopses, pitches etc.). In relation to that you will draw on and add to your electronic portfolio (Pebble+) from the first two years to reflect your current perspective as a scriptwriter, finally you will learn about interview techniques, networking and presenting yourself in a professional manner.

How will I learn on this module?

The main teaching style will be practical workshop sessions in which concepts, ideas and techniques will be introduced and tested by you and your fellow students. There are two strands of related learning on this module, the creative element and the professional context. Information about professional context will be supplied in presentation form and by encounters with professionals from the industry who will offer insight from personal experience. The creative element will be supported in a number of ways: first, the practical workshop exercises in which you will experiment with new forms and skills; secondly, a series of small group tutorials in which your developing ideas will be tested and interrogated by tutor and peers; thirdly, this development process will be supported by the online forum in which you will be encouraged to share the developing work and involve yourself in discussion about the strengths and weaknesses of your own and fellow students’ work. Finally, the cross year workshop session (which will be familiar to you from your first two years of study) will give you a further forum in which to share and develop your work. An individual mid-point tutorial will give a further insight into your progress.

Interview technique will be taught in practical sessions with peer and tutor feedback giving you an opportunity to think about your technique and we will also be practising pitching ideas. Finally we will organise screenings and viewings to support your understanding of the various professional contexts.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

Academic support will be provided through group and individual tutorials, particularly in relation to assessment. Clear guidelines for these assessments will be available on the eLearning Portal and will be explained in class, with practice sessions to embed the skills and approaches you will need for success. Further support will be available through the extensive use of the eLearning Portal, to include module information and teaching materials, and individual tutorials will be available to address specific issues and ensure appropriate progress.

On the Scriptwriting pathway there is an additional workshop each week where you share work in progress with students from the first and second year. This session sits alongside this module and complements it by providing a safe space for presenting and hearing fellow students’ work. It also helps you to integrate with the other students and to learn from their ongoing experience. It sets up a model for writerly support which may enhance your writing practice when you graduate.

Information and resources will be available to you on Blackboard and the ‘Reading List’ contains links to websites and online video material which can help you develop appropriate knowledge and understanding.

Written assessment feedback will be provided within 20 working days of summative assignment submission. Access to library facilities is available 24-7 all year round.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at: http://readinglists.northumbria.ac.uk
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team – http://library.northumbria.ac.uk/readinglists)

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:
Upon successful completion of the module you will have gained:

1. A broad and detailed understanding of the differing demands of scriptwriting for different media.
2. The knowledge and experience of methodologies and approaches to creating new work and presenting it in a professional context.
3. A broad and detailed knowledge of the workings of the scriptwriting industry, and the professional roles of that world.


Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
Upon successful completion of the module you will have gained:
4. The ability to think independently and articulate your ideas and opinions in a professional context

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):
Upon successful completion of the module you will:
5. Demonstrate an awareness of the professional complexities, and cultural nuances of operating in the scritpwrtiing industry.

How will I be assessed?

Formative
The iterative nature of the workshop process means that there will be continuing formative feedback in taught sessions. Also at the mid point tutorial. At this point your draft script proposal will receive some written formative feedback too.

The cross-year shared weekly workshop also creatives a formative feedback point on your developing portfolios.

Summative

Script Proposal (2000 words + Website material) (1, 2, 3, 5)
(Weighting 70%)
You will present a professional proposal for a full length script. It will be accompanied by other professional paperwork (CV, synopses, pitches, etc. – the exact content will depend on the project) and supported by an up-to-date web presence.


Interview (10 mins) (2, 3, 4, 5)
(Weighting 30%)
In an interview situation you will propose your idea and talk about your professional skills and abilities, in a mock interview designed to test your professional awareness and your ability to secure a commission.


Summative Feedback
Feedback or these tasks will be written on standard feedback sheets and will be received within 20 working days of submission deadline.

Pre-requisite(s)

PA4003, PA5003

Co-requisite(s)

PA6005

Module abstract

This module prepares you for the Portfolio Script in the second semester, it also prepares you for your professional engagement with the industry. As well as consolidating some skills learned in previous years you will learn how to apply these skills to Radio and Television considering the particular demands of writing for each and comparing these to film and theatre. Through this process you will develop the script idea which you will commit to writing in the second semester. As part of the process of developing this idea you will study the industry, how it works, how it selects work and how you might approach getting a commission. Finally the assessed outcome will be a project proposal written in a professional manner, supported by your website and professional documentation. You will also undertake an interview where you will be asked to present your idea to the interviewer.

Course info

UCAS Code W400

Credits 20

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 3 years full-time or 4 years with a placement (sandwich)/study abroad

Department Arts

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2020

Fee Information

Module Information

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